Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

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Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, issued a manifesto for a 'glorious future' for Britain outside the European Union as 'the greatest country on Earth'. This was seen as a challenge to Theresa May, the Prime Minister. People like Sir Vince Cable, the Lib Dem leader, and Kenneth Clarke, the Tory arch-Remainer, said he should have been sacked. Mr Johnson's lengthy piece in the Daily Telegraph came six days before a big speech on the subject promised by Mrs May, in Florence, before the next round of Brexit negotiations. He declared that Britain should pay nothing for access to the EU single market. Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, went on television and accused him of 'back-seat driving'. Others got up a row over his claim that 'once we have settled our accounts, we will take back control of roughly £350 million per week. It would be a fine thing, as many of us have pointed out, if a lot of that money went on the NHS'. Sir David Norgrove, the chairman of the UK Statistics Authority, said this was 'a clear misuse of official statistics'. Oliver Robbins, the government's top Brexit official, was transferred from the Department for Exiting the European Union to the Cabinet Office in order to work more directly for the Prime Minister.

Ahome-made bomb ignited in a wall of flame in a morning rush-hour Underground train at Parsons Green station, injuring 30 people but failing to explode. Police arrested an 18-year-old Iraqi orphan (who had been in foster care in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey) at Dover, a 21-year-old man in Hounslow, Middlesex. and and 25-year-old man in Newport, Monmouthshire. It was found that people who shopped on Amazon for an ingredient of a popular bomb-making compound would receive the information that it was 'frequently bought together' with the other ingredients. Britain is the fifth-biggest audience in the world for extremist internet content after Turkey, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, according to a study by Policy Exchange.

The number of people who died in the Grenfell Tower fire may be fewer than the estimate of 80, according to police, who have so far seized 31 million documents in their investigations. Ryanair began cancelling 40-50 flights a day for six weeks without much notice. In response to loud complaints, it published the details of which flights would be cancelled up to the end of October. …

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